Harold A. Fenske

NEW ULM – Harold A. Fenske, 87, of New Ulm, died Wednesday, January 8, 2014, at Oak Hills Living Center in New Ulm.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Wednesday, January 15, at the United Church of Christ in New Ulm. Burial will follow at the New Ulm City Cemetery.

Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 14, and 7:30-8:30 a.m. Wednesday at Minnesota Valley Funeral Home SOUTH Chapel and one hour before services at the church on Wednesday. To sign the guest book or to leave an online condolence go to www.mvfh.org.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Betty, of New Ulm; children Bruce Fenske of New Ulm, Lynn (Tom) Ries of North Mankato, and Sandra (Randy Cole) Fenske of Medina; grandchildren Eric (Jenn) Fenske of Chicago, IL, Sara Fenske of Minneapolis, Kyle Ries of Mankato; Bryan (Kari) Ries of Duluth, Daniel Ries of Ames, IA; Taylor, Morgan and Cameron Cole of Medina; brother, Donald (Dorothy) Fenske of Rochester; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Harold Sr. and Edna Fenske; and daughter-in-law Barbara Fenske

Harold was born February 12, 1926, in New Ulm. After graduation from New Ulm High School in 1944, he served in the Navy in the South Pacific Theater with a honorable discharge in 1946. He earned a B.A. degree from Mankato State College (now Minnesota State University) in 1951.

On December 26, 1949, he was united in marriage to Betty Wykoff in Mankato. While in college he co-owned and operated The Mug drive-in along with classmate Donald Gollnast until 1957.

In 1951 he began an 18 year career as a stock broker-dealer for several different companies including one he co-owned from 1966 to 1969. In 1969 he started a new career in hospital administration serving as assistant administrator of Union Hospital, then administrator of the hospital from 1973 until 1980 when Union and Loretto hospitals merged. He then became administrator of the New Ulm Medical Clinic until his retirement in 1988.

During his work years he was active in many organizations in New Ulm including president of the New Ulm Public Utilities commission and member and past Master of the Masonic Lodge. He also served as president and board member of Oak Hills Living Center, past president and member of United Church of Christ, member and director of the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce. He served as a director of Safety Council, Rotary Club, Union Hospital, United Way, New Ulm Country Club and Boy Scouts.

During retirement he was a volunteer driver for Brown County Family Services and Meals on Wheels. Harold and his wife Betty were also honored with the Service to Mankind award from the New Ulm Sertoma Club. In 2012 he was named Medical Legend by New Ulm Medical Center for his work merging the two hospitals into Sioux Valley Hospital.

Memorials preferred to Oak Hills Living Center Foundation or New Ulm Medical Center Foundation.

Harold will be lovingly remembered for his integrity and fairness in dealing with people. He will also be remembered by his family and close friends for his keen sense of humor. The family wishes to thank the caring and dedicated staff at Oak Hills Living Center and New Ulm Medical Center Hospice.


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